A sensor that changes colour to indicate meat spoilage could prevent serious illness and food waste, say the US scientists involved in the project.
Battelle scientists John R. Shaw and Donald Zehnder have been involved in a project for the past two years aimed at developing a ‘trap and detect’ tool for embedding in meat packaging to warn retailers and consumers of the presence of bacteria that cause food spoilage.
“We really wanted to come up with an idea whereby the consumer could look at the package and instantly know that the meat product was fresh or spoiled,” said John Shaw.
Zehnder told FoodProductionDaily.com that, following preliminary lab work, the team is at the stage of designing a prototype sensor and they have recently filed for a patent in relation to their chemical detector.
According to the two chemists, the project was prompted by what they felt was a lack of safeguards in the food supply chain following the spinach linked E. coli outbreak that killed three people and sickened more than 200 in September 2006.
They said their sensor could help reduce the risk of human illness or costly recalls.
Shaw said that their sensor, using technology based on colour metrics, changes from yellow to dark red when bacteria such as achromobacter and micrococcus have contaminated the meat.
He explained that the sensor is a synthetic molecule that binds with the material that the spoilage bacteria emit when they feed on the meat, and when the molecule and material bind the light they produce changes the colour of the sensor.
We are, here, In Indonesia, never think to run such a thinkable project, Therefore no wonder our research is still left behind for may be 20 years. this is some sorts of painfull critics to myselves as a scientist. Do our researchers think to make a smart plate thats will transmit warning if a soup or a food poured on to this a smart plate too much MSG, or fats content for example. Let us work hard to make our nation leading in this advanced technology not just playing the game of politics.